Small Damages by Beth Kephart
It’s senior year, and while Kenzie should be looking forward to prom and starting college in the fall, she is mourning the loss of her father. She finds solace in the one person she trusts, her boyfriend, and she soon finds herself pregnant. Kenzie’s boyfriend and mother do not understand her determination to keep the baby. She is sent to southern Spain for the summer, where she will live out her pregnancy as a cook’s assistant on a bull ranch, and her baby will be adopted by a Spanish couple.
Alone and resentful in a foreign country, Kenzie is at first sullen and difficult. She begins to open her eyes and her heart to the beauty that is all around her and inside of her.
I liked Small Damages well enough. It didn’t astonish me, but it was a different kind of story, and a good one to boot. The one thing that both made the book and broke it was the writing style. While beautiful and poetic, it also shrouded the story in so much metaphor and symbolism. Still, the story was memorable, and I liked that Kephart didn't portray Kenzie as a ditzy, irresponsible girl just because she was pregnant. The other characters were well-developed and interesting as well. And Spain - Spain was the best setting this story could receive, and with Kephart’s writing, Spain seems alive and thriving under Kenzie’s feet.
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